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Are HOA Secret Meetings Allowed From Time To Time?

Now and then, the HOA board will meet to discuss association matters and vote on issues. But can the board do this without notifying owners? Are HOA secret meetings allowed?


Can the Board Have HOA Secret Meetings?

First, it is essential to understand that there are generally two kinds of HOA board meetings. The first is the open board meeting, which, as its name suggests, is open to all community members. During this meeting, the board will discuss and vote on association business.

The second kind is the executive session. This is when board members adjourn to a closed meeting to discuss confidential matters that should not be disclosed to owners. While executive sessions are held in closed quarters, they are not necessarily secret because owners don’t know that they are happening.

Can the board conduct HOA secret meetings? The answer, generally, is no. Most state statutes prohibit HOA boards from having secret board meetings.

In California, for instance, Civil Code Section 4925 requires board meetings to be open to all members except those held in executive sessions. Thus, having a meeting requires opening it to all members. Civil Code Section 4910 states that board members may not conduct association business outside of a meeting. California law also lays down strict rules about what the board can discuss in executive sessions.

Similar laws exist in Texas. With the exception of specific topics, board members must discuss and vote on all association matters at an open board meeting. Section 209.0051 of the Texas Property Code details what actions must always be taken at an open meeting. These include topics like fines and assessments, amendments to instruments, and filling vacancies on the board.

Florida also regulates closed board meetings. In the Sunshine State, closed board meetings are only permitted under two circumstances: to discuss litigation and to discuss employee issues. Another example is Virginia, which prohibits most types of secret board meetings.


What Counts as an HOA Board Meeting?

secret HOA meetingsMany homeowners associations need help with defining board meetings. What exactly constitutes a meeting of the board?

Generally speaking, a board meeting is when a quorum of board members meets to discuss or vote on association matters. Whether this meeting is held within HOA property or not does not matter. As long as there is a quorum of board members and association business is conducted, it counts as a board meeting. Therefore, if a gathering of board members meets those criteria, they may be guilty of holding a secret meeting.

Remember that most state laws and governing documents also require the board to provide sufficient notice before the board meeting. The requirement also usually extends to providing a meeting agenda. If the board fails to give notice and an agenda before a meeting, it violates the law or the governing documents, whichever applies.


Failing to Take Minutes of the Meeting

Apart from meeting in secret, some HOA boards deliberately refuse to take minutes in an attempt to hide the events of the meeting from other owners. This is also a terrible idea.

In most states, homeowners associations are required by law to take minutes of every meeting. Some even require minutes of executive sessions, though those don’t have to contain as much detail. Furthermore, associations must make open board meeting minutes available to all members for copying or inspection. Even statutes dictate how long an HOA has to produce minutes following a meeting and how long an HOA must retain records of its minutes.


The Pitfalls of Secret HOA Meetings

It is only natural for an HOA board to want to hold closed-door meetings. Boards often want to discuss controversial issues in private because they want to avoid dealing with the backlash or reactions from owners. There is also a certain level of pressure when board members discuss and vote on HOA business in the presence of other owners.

However, this all comes with the position of a board member. If an HOA board holds a secret meeting, they are likely violating state laws and their documents and exposing the association to potential liability.

Homeowners need to witness the board discussing association matters and voting on issues. If owners don’t see this happening with their own eyes, they will start to doubt the board’s decisions. They will lose trust in the board because there is no transparency within the association. It won’t take long before owners bring a claim to the board or start a recall petition.


Rectifying Previous Action Taken in Secret

HOA open board meetingWhile it should come as common sense, many HOA boards make the mistake of holding secret meetings. They either do this inadvertently or intentionally. They might not want to involve owners in the matters of the association, or they might be operating under the regrettable advice of management personnel. Either way, a board that has conducted secret meetings should take steps to undo the damage.

The best way to remedy the previous action is to backtrack and redo the whole thing. Include the same issue in the agenda of the next open board meeting. Send a notice within the appropriate timeframe, then discuss and vote on it again at the meeting. In doing so, the board can defend itself by saying it attempted to rectify the situation. This is especially helpful should the case go to court.


A Word of Caution

When it comes down to it, HOA secret meetings are prohibited in almost every state and by nearly all governing documents. No good manager will recommend that an HOA board hold secret meetings if they conflict with state statutes and the HOA’s declaration. While it may be tempting to have just one secret meeting, it’s a slippery slope, and one secret meeting can quickly turn into hundreds.

Condo Manager provides comprehensive HOA management solutions, including meeting management, to planned communities and management companies. Call us today at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online for a free demo!



How Can An HOA Email System Improve Communications In The Community

Communication will always remain an essential part of managing a homeowners association. One of the ways HOA boards stay in touch with residents is through newsletters, though, it is now an outdated form of communication. Make the switch to an HOA email system to help improve communications within your community.


Which HOA Email System Will Work for Your Community?

For the longest time, homeowners associations have been using printed newsletters to spread information and make announcements en masse to the community. Although there is no law that requires HOAs to send regular newsletters to its members, it has become a reliable form of communication.

In the information age, though, it no longer makes sense to print out HOA newsletters and send them individually to homeowners. Organizations everywhere, from large corporations to small businesses, are making the shift to a digital platform. HOAs are not exempt from this.

There are many benefits to going paperless. With emails, it is no longer necessary to print out hard copies and mail them to individual homeowners. This cuts back on printing and mailing costs.

Additionally, email systems offer prompt delivery, which means you can disseminate information immediately. Other than that, email systems also save time on designing, allows you to rectify mistakes at once, are generally more interactive, and allow for easy filing.

There are several email systems associations can use to their advantage. Some of these services come free, while others offer paid subscriptions. Here are the best HOA email systems you can use in your community:


1. AWeber

As one of the oldest email systems in the business, AWeber has spent years perfecting its services. This HOA email communication system is great for associations with no design background.

AWeber allows you to create custom emails using its drag and drop functionality, barring the need for coding. There is also an email template designer that uses AI technology to automatically create professional and engaging emails in a matter of seconds.

If you prefer to use templates that have already been created for you, AWeber has a library full of free templates to choose from. No more endless nights of designing newsletters and emails!

Additionally, AWeber makes it easy for you to analyze data such as key performance indicators (KPIs). It consists of pre-built reports that you can access any time, from a computer or on the go. Its mobile app, AWeber Stats, gives you access to all this data in one seamless location from your mobile device.

Other features include:

  • Automated Tagging
  • List Management
  • Sign Up Forms
  • Autoresponders
  • And more!

AWeber is a smart choice for small associations with a finite number of homeowners. Its services come free for up to 500 subscribers, with some limitations, of course. After that, prices start at $19 a month and only increases as you gain more subscribers.


2. Constant Contact

When it comes to sending emails to the HOA community, nothing makes the job easier than Constant Contact. This email service is one of the easiest systems to use, which makes it perfect for beginners.

With Constant Contact, you can manage your homeowner contacts, email lists, and templates with ease. It has a smart email editor that allows you to drag and drop items to customize your emails. Its automation feature also makes it easy for your HOA to send welcome emails to new homeowners and resend emails to those who have yet to open theirs.

If your association is conducting a survey or poll, you can do it straight from this HOA email system. You can even create, manage, and promote events, as well as collect and track online donations right from your computer.

Furthermore, Constant Contact also comes with data analytics tools. With these tools, you can see which homeowners are opening your emails and clicking on the links inside of them.

Other features include:

  • Free Image Library
  • Built-In Social Media Sharing Tools
  • List Segmentation
  • And more!

If you have a problem with their services, Constant Contact makes it easy for you to reach out to them. They have a variety of customer support outlets, such as live chat, email, and phone calls. You can also find help from its online community or resources.

The catch, though, is that Constant Contact does not come free. You can opt to take advantage of their 30-day free trial offer, but it will cost you $20 to $45 per month after that.


3. GetResponse

AWeber GetResponse MailChimp | HOA newslettersIf you are looking for something a little cheaper than Constant Contact, then consider GetResponse. It boasts most of the same features, but prices start at $15 a month instead of $20.

With GetResponse, you can create HOA emails with ease. It also has an autoresponder feature that you can use to welcome, follow-up, or educate homeowners. You can turn on its notifications as well to let you know when emails have been received by the other party. True to its name, GetResponse also has a survey and polls feature that you can use to gather homeowner feedback straight from the system.

Perhaps one of its most outstanding features, though, is Webinars. With the help of this tool, you can get in touch with your membership live. You can share your screen with others as well as brainstorm ideas with the help of GetResponse’s whiteboard. These features are especially useful for remote meetings or sessions.

Other features include:

  • Data Analytics
  • Attractive Form Templates
  • List Segmentation
  • Integration with Google Docs, OptinMonster, ZenDesk, and SalesForce
  • And more!

You can sign up for a 30-day free trial with no credit card required. After that, GetResponse plans start at $15 a month for a list size of 1,000 subscribers.


4. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the most popular and well-known email systems in the world. Just like other HOA email systems, MailChimp comes with a drag and drop feature, allowing you to create emails in a matter of minutes. It also boasts free templates that you can use if you lack the time to design one yourself. If you have a knack for coding, you can design your own templates.

Additionally, MailChimp has a great mobile app that allows you to create and send emails from basically anywhere. This service also has transactional email functionalities. With this, you can send personalized emails with no problem at all.

Similar to other email services, MailChimp also has analytics that you can access at any time. You can learn about homeowner behavior when it comes to emails and newsletters, as well as gain valuable insight on the go with the mobile app. If you need something simple without all the frills of more advanced systems, MailChimp should be a good option.

Other features include:

  • Autoresponders
  • List Segmentation
  • Integration with WordPress, Shopify, Magento, etc.
  • And more!

MailChimp’s free plan offers all the email features and tools you need at absolutely no cost. But, this plan is limited to only 2,000 contacts, which makes it perfect for associations with small memberships. MailChimp’s paid subscription starts at $9.99 per month for up to 50,000 contacts.


5. SendinBlue

For a system that combines emails and SMS, SendinBlue is a great service to try. As with other platforms, you can use this service’s drag and drop feature to create mesmerizing emails and newsletters without the need for a design or coding background.

Emails are not the only thing you can take advantage of with SendinBlue. You can also send text messages to homeowners and make the process easier with SMS templates. Other than that, if you have an HOA website, you can integrate live chat support for homeowners looking for real-time answers.

Additionally, this email system allows you to track and analyze statistics as they occur. You also have access to built-in reports and learn which homeowners are engaging with your emails. With all this and more, SendinBlue is truly your one-stop solution for all things communication.

Other features include:

  • Transactional Email
  • Sign Up Forms
  • List Segmentation
  • And more!

SendinBlue subscription plans start at $25 a month. Though, you can make use of its free plan, which lets you send up to 300 emails per day — well above what a homeowners association needs.


Making the Switch

The initial stage of the transition will come with a few challenges. Some homeowners may not be open to making the switch to a digital platform, especially older and less tech-savvy members. Others may feel apprehensive because personal data (email addresses) is involved. Soothe their anxieties by assuring them that their email addresses will remain confidential and will only be used for HOA communication purposes.

If there are any homeowners who still refuse to share their HOA email address with you, don’t force them. Instead, post each newsletter on your HOA website to keep these homeowners in the loop. You can also consider retaining the hard-copy system for select homeowners, but let them know of the added costs involved. Additionally, inform them that they may not be getting up-to-date news.

Beyond that, you should also develop an HOA communications policy consisting of rules and regulations that board members should follow. Sample rules in a standard HOA email policy include refraining from divulging personal information to third parties, only sharing relevant news (no gossip or opinions), and maintaining professionalism at all times.


A Step Into the Future of Communication

Emails have largely replaced traditional mail in terms of communication. This is due to the convenience they offer as well as the ease of storing them. Homeowners associations will also benefit from adopting an HOA email system. The road to going paperless, of course, will be paved with challenges. The long-term gains, though, are undeniable.

If your HOA or condo association needs a fully integrated, comprehensive management software, Condo Manager can help. Contact us today to learn more about our product!


Editor’s Note: Condo Manager is not affiliated with any of the email systems mentioned in this article.




HOA Communication Tools And Policies For Better Communication

Prompt and reliable dissemination of information is a key element of successful HOA management. To accomplish this, you will need various HOA communication tools.


HOA Communication Tools and How to Use Them

One of the duties and responsibilities of your HOA board is to communicate with association members. From making announcements to sending out notices, communication is a regular part of running a community.

Choosing the right tools to aid your communication efforts, though, is just as important as the messages you send. Here are the best HOA communication tools you can use along with how you should use them:


1. Email

Email is a valuable method of communication for HOA communities. With email, you can share news and updates instantly and without hassle. It is an affordable and convenient way to disseminate information. The best part is that email is very versatile. You can use it for more formal communication as well as for more casual announcements.

Some HOAs are apprehensive about using email because they believe older members will be against it. But, the opposite may actually be true. Older generations are now using email almost as much as younger generations.

Most homeowners already have an existing email address that they regularly use. If you have yet to start using email as a communication tool, you may find it difficult to collect individual email addresses. In doing so, always remind homeowners that their email addresses will only be used for HOA communications purposes.

Managing multiple email addresses, though, can come as a challenge as your association grows in size. In that case, your board would have an easier time with the help of an HOA email system. There are a number of email systems you can use, and some management software even has such systems already integrated.


HOA Email Policy

When using email as a means of communication, board members should establish a set of rules to avoid problems. For instance, if a homeowner replies to an email or makes a complaint via email, it is best to address the issue in person. Written communication often leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. Additionally, board members should never disclose homeowners’ personal information to other parties. That includes their email address.


2. HOA Website

Websites offer several advantages to an HOA community. First of all, HOA websites function as a one-stop-shop for all things HOA-related. You can make important announcements, send reminders, post newsletters, and add a calendar for events. You can even publish HOA records, such as your governing documents, to your website.

A fully-integrated website also allows members to submit service requests. All of this will make it easier for homeowners to gain access to various information and actions.

When creating your website, it is essential to incorporate a password-protected homeowner portal. This way, you can make sure that the only people who have access to HOA documents and services are members of the community.

The only downside to HOA sites, though, is that well-designed ones tend to cost more. Still, shelling out $5,000 to $10,000 for a comprehensive website will pay off in the end.


3. Social Media

social media | hoa communications policySocial media is another viable option, though not everyone is active on social media or even has an account.

Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for HOA communities since it allows you to create closed groups. In addition to making announcements, Facebook also allows you to share files, photos, and documents. Perhaps the biggest benefit of social media, though, is that you can share information in real-time.


HOA Social Media Policy

Things can quickly get out of hand on social media, which is why it is essential to crafting a policy regulating homeowner behavior. Common social media rules include prohibiting offensive or derogatory comments, banning owners from starting fights, and restricting what users can share. Still, even with rules in place, managing social media can be tricky.

Facebook, though, has some tools that can help you control posts. For instance, you can disable member posts without approval from the group admins, i.e. the HOA board members. Apart from controlling homeowners, board members should also exercise care. Refrain from posting any sensitive or confidential information on social media.


4. Video Conferencing Tools

Video conferencing platforms are a suitable alternative if, for any reason, your board can’t meet personally. With this tool, you can conduct meetings remotely, share screens, and send files.

There are also other features you can use depending on the platform you choose. You can also conference with fellow members on mobile or on your computer. Best of all, a lot of video conferencing programs come free of charge. Video conferencing can also work for annual HOA meetings if the number of participants allows it.


Video Conferencing Policy

Since virtual meetings allow you to participate from anywhere, you may feel tempted to forgo a decent appearance in favor of comfort. While comfort matters, keep in mind that you must still remain completely professional at all times. That means putting on a clean shirt even when you’re at home. Though, most video conferencing tools also let you turn off your camera so that only your voice is heard.


5. HOA Software

The beauty of an HOA management software is that you have more control over the messages you send and who you send them to. You can customize a lot of settings and preferences, and there are even templates you can use for easy message creation.

With the help of self-managed HOA software, you can share news and updates in a number of different mediums. This includes SMS, voice messages, and email. You can even attach files and other documents to the messages you send. Plus, a fully integrated HOA management software comes with all the bells and whistles, including record management, billing and invoicing, and service requests management.


6. Nextdoor

If you have never heard of Nextdoor, it is a social networking app that connects communities. With the help of this app, you can share local news, welcome newcomers, and offer recommendations for services. The only thing you need to do in order to start is to enter your location.

HOA boards generally have no control over Nextdoor, though, so it is not one of the most practical HOA communication tools. Therefore, you should never use it to conduct official HOA business, or else you may find yourself in legal trouble.


Are Printed Newsletters Worth Keeping?

newsletters | hoa communication toolsA printed homeowners association newsletter used to be the standard communication tool.

But, with the changing times brought on by technology, printed newsletters are on their way out. Still, many HOAs continue to rely on newsletters because their homeowners prefer it.

If your HOA is considering phasing out printed newsletters, it is important to first see how your members feel about it. Try conducting a survey to obtain feedback. It is also worth striking a balance between the convenience of technology and the tradition of printed newsletters.

When explaining the change to your members, make sure to highlight the benefits of going digital. In addition to cutting back on printing and mailing costs, switching to a digital medium is faster and more accessible. Furthermore, with the amount of time involved in creating a newsletter — from design, layout, and writing content — the information already becomes outdated by the time it reaches homeowners’ doors.


A Duty to Fulfill

Your HOA board is responsible for keeping members informed and up-to-date, whether it’s about new rule changes or community events. Reaching out to members can be hard, though, especially if you still rely on traditional methods. Accomplish your duty to distribute information in a timely and accurate manner with the help of these HOA communication tools.

Condo Manager USA offers a thorough HOA management software that meets all your communication needs. Schedule a free demo, call us at (800) 626-1267, or contact us online for more information.




5 Ways The Condo Manager Software Improves HOA Communication

Communication in homeowners associations is crucial for success. However, with so many tasks and responsibilities, it can be easy to forget appointments, misplace paperwork, or lose track of conversations — leading to communication breakdowns between homeowners, board members, and their association managers. Condo Manager software improves HOA communication so you can enjoy more seamless and efficient operations.


How Condo Manager Software Improves HOA Communication

Condo Manager is designed by association management experts and created specifically to address the needs of HOA communities, both big and small. Our software is equipped with HOA communication tools that you can use to improve the communication process of your community. Here’s what you can expect from Condo Manager.


1. Comprehensive HOA Database

Have all the information you’ll ever need at the touch of your fingertips. Condo Manager offers a web portal where you can create profiles for homeowners, tenants, vendors, properties, and associations.

The software will keep personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency contact details. If there is an urgent matter, you can quickly lookup a homeowner’s contact information to quickly resolve the issue.

Condo Manager also keeps track of account balances and violation reports. Homeowners won’t have to call management to inquire about unsettled dues. They can just log into the web portal. As a result, associations won’t be overwhelmed with homeowner requests and can free up communication lines for more urgent matters.


2. Detailed Communication Logs

Condo Manager will store the full communication history of your association. The software allows you to monitor past letters, emails, and phone calls from homeowners, tenants, and vendors. The communication log will also show dates, times, call durations, notes, and personnel involved for your reference. Thus, you can always pick up where you left off. Associations won’t have to waste time retreating old ground and HOA members won’t become frustrated at having to repeat themselves during every call.

Condo Manager has robust tracking capabilities as well. For management companies handling multiple associations, the software can track how many hours were spent on communication. The Profitability Module will mark all billable items and generate a full report for easy invoicing. Since everything is detailed, companies can have effective communications with HOA associations that they handle.


3. Streamlined Communications

communication with HOA associationsAssociations spend a lot of time connecting accounting and service records with their communications. You have to jump between word processors and spreadsheets, cross-reference records, and double-check emails to get the information you need.

And even then, there are still a lot of opportunities for error. Condo Manager has streamlined the communication process so that your management team can work faster and more efficiently.

Our all-in-one-software has an integrated word processor. You can create letters for collections, violations, architectural requests without having to leave the program. There are custom options and templates so that you can quickly create letters and settle urgent issues in a timely manner.

Condo Manager also has email integration so you can send these letters, as well as financial reports, maintenance requests, and work orders, directly from the software. All you need to do is press the “Send by Email” button and it will be sent. You can also customize the settings to control when emails are sent and who they are sent to. Moreover, the software saves all the emails you send in case there is a need to retrieve the information later.


4. Convenient Reminders and To-Do Items

Condo Manager has built-in reminders and to-do tracking features so you’re always on top of association requests. For instance, you can set reminders to follow-up with homeowners. By keeping appointments, homeowners will feel seen and heard by their association.

The software can also create to-do lists to manage vendors‘ upcoming work orders. You can also set notifications for insurance expiration dates, utility payment due dates, or upcoming inspection dates to prevent lapses or service disruptions in your community.


5. Mobile Compatibility

We also offer Condo Manager Live, which allows you to access the software from a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices. Just as long as you have an internet connection, you can keep up with HOA communications.

You’ll be able to access account balances, violations, and work orders, as well as respond to emails and requests, even if you are out of the office. If managers or board members are unable to handle a certain request while off-site, they can easily send an email to concerned homeowners to ensure them that their request has been received.


Find Out How Condo Manager Improves Association Communication

The Condo Manager team understands the unique challenges that associations face, especially when it comes to HOA communications. With your specific issues and needs in mind, our association management experts developed software from the ground up to provide the solutions and support that you need.

Condo Manager is also more than just communications software. It features a full suite of services that can help with the day-to-day management of your community. For instance, simple but comprehensive accounting tools will make it easier to keep track of finances and maintain the financial health of your association.

Condo Manager can also be utilized as self-managed HOA software or by management companies handling multiple associations. The software can be tailored to deliver the association management services that you need the most.

Ready to find out how Condo Manager improves communication? Do not hesitate to call us at (800)-626-1267, email us at sales@condomanagerusa.com, or contact us online for a free demo or to learn more about our HOA software solutions.



13 Tips And Ideas On How to Improve An HOA Newsletter

Having a regular HOA newsletter sent to the homeowners in your community, whether by mail or by email, is a great way to keep everyone involved and inform the community of upcoming projects and events. It is something that you should not forego as it is an important step to improving your HOA.


HOA Newsletter Ideas: What to Include in Your Regular Newsletter

What should be included in an HOA newsletter? That is a common question many homeowners associations ask. It can be difficult to know what to put in your newsletter, especially if you write and distribute one on a regular basis. Below, you will find the essential items and some ideas on what you can include in your homeowner’s association newsletter:


1. Date, Issue, and Volume Number

Staying organized is paramount when it comes to writing and distributing community newsletters. A good way to keep track of your newsletters and maintain organization is to date each issue. If you can, it is even better to include an issue and volume number on each one.

This way, both the newsletter committee and the members of the community know which newsletter is the most current. It also eliminates the possibility of members mistakenly reading old news.


2. A Brief Overview

It is a good idea to let readers know what to expect in the HOA newsletter. How do you do that? By including a brief overview at the opening, of course!

Make sure to call attention to the most critical items that the newsletter will cover. This will allow you to capture their interest right from the start and encourage them to read through the whole thing.


3. A Message from the Board

If the HOA board has anything important to share, include it in the newsletter, too. It does not even need to be anything major or critical. The board or the president can simply share a few friendly words with community members at the beginning of the newsletter. This will help create a warm and neighborly atmosphere.


4. Updates from Recent Board Meetings

homeowner association newsletterYour HOA newsletter is a valuable communication tool. It is the ideal place to let residents know about any issues recently brought to the board’s attention.

Any decision that the board made should also appear in the newsletter. Homeowners value transparency, and newsletters are a great way to communicate this information clearly and quickly to the whole community. You can also include updates regarding construction or maintenance as well as notices of upcoming projects.


5. Relevant Local News

Events in the wider community and the city as a whole can greatly affect your homeowner’s association. You can include any local news that may have an impact on the residents of your community so that everyone stays informed about these issues. Not everyone in your community watches the news, so residents will appreciate your newsletter filling in the gap for them.


6. Energy-Saving Tips

Energy conservation is a hot issue, and your HOA newsletter is a great place to share energy-saving tips. You need not limit yourself to energy-saving tips either. You can dive into other topics like water conservation, emergency preparedness, and the like. If your newsletter offers value to its readers, more people are more likely to anticipate the next issue.


7. Maintenance Tips

Your HOA newsletter can also be a place for other tips relating to maintenance in the community, such as gardening, taking care of the lawn, or preparing your residence for bad weather. You can even include tips on how homeowners can maintain and repair their household appliances, floor tiles, sidings, and the like. Again, it is all about offering information your readers will find value in.


8. Rules and Regulations Reminders

At times, it becomes necessary to remind homeowners of certain rules, especially if there are new rules or changes to existing ones. Reminding them in the form of an HOA newsletter can be a gentle way of encouraging homeowners to adhere to the rules set forth by the governing documents. This is particularly important as not all residents are familiar with the minute details of these documents.


9. Upcoming Events

Of course, it is always important to include a calendar in the newsletter with a list of all upcoming events in your HOA. This can be anything from your annual ice-cream social to dates of expected building projects. But, most importantly, it should include the dates of upcoming board meetings. This will help community members to stay involved.


10. Commendations of Residents or Board Members

Perhaps one of the most overlooked homeowners association newsletter ideas is to include commendations. Acknowledging residents, board members, or committee members through the written medium of a newsletter is a great way to spread goodwill throughout the HOA. It is important for these volunteers to feel valued. In each issue, you can include thanks and praises for community members that have gone above and beyond in making the association a better place.


11. Member News

Community members likely want to know what is going on with their neighbors as well. As such, give them an opportunity to share their own exciting news, such as an upcoming wedding, graduation, retirement, and any other milestone.

Members can also write their own content and submit it to the newsletter committee. When their content makes it to print, do not forget to give credit. Encouraging members to get involved in the writing process is one way to improve readership, too.


12. Photos

A good newsletter has a healthy mix of text and images. Along with sharing pertinent news, events, reminders, and tips, you should also include visuals that complement the content of your newsletter. This can be in the form of photos, graphs, charts, and infographics.

Additionally, you can even dedicate an entire section of the newsletter just for photos. A photo gallery showing fun times at a past community event, for instance, will allow members to relive good memories and encourage others to participate in future events. Just make sure you get permission to share the photos from the people in them and the people who took them.


13. A Summary

How do you end a newsletter? One way to effectively close a newsletter is to write a summary of its contents. You can also include an outline of the upcoming newsletter so that people know what to expect in the next issue.


How to Improve Your Homeowner Association Newsletter

What makes a good newsletter? A quick search online will give you access to a number of HOA newsletter templates and newsletter examples, but a good newsletter is more than just purely aesthetics. Although the design is definitely part of it, there are other things that comprise a good newsletter.


1. Make It Attractive

People are visual creatures, so it comes as no surprise that the design and layout of your HOA newsletter can affect readership. If a newsletter looks dull or boring, members will likely drop it.

Make sure to capture reader attention with an appealing yet professional design. The design should be coherent and consistent with the image of your homeowner’s association. Mix it up with different font styles, but see to it that they complement each other instead of clashing with each other. Keep it clean and classy yet engaging and attractive.

If you can’t spare the time or resources to have one professionally designed, you can look for free newsletter templates online. There are many websites that offer them, such as StockLayouts and even Pinterest. A well-rounded HOA software can also provide a homeowners association newsletter template together with other management solutions.


2. Make It Easy to Scan

You might ask, “How do I write a community newsletter?” The contents of your HOA newsletter should be concise and direct. That means no beating around the bush and keeping passive tones to a minimum. No one wants to read thick blocks of continuous text. Instead, break them up into shorter, more manageable paragraphs. Only expound on points further if you think it is necessary. Otherwise, keep it short and sweet.

It is also not a good idea to use jargon or technical terms within your newsletter. Make it easy for your readers to understand what you are trying to say. This is also where photos and graphics can come in handy. Images can break up the text and support your points as well.


3. Use Accurate Information

homeowners association newsletterThe main purpose of an HOA newsletter is to spread information to community members.

Therefore, it should go without saying that the information you do present should be accurate and up-to-date. Stay away from rumors. Your newsletter is not a tabloid or gossip column.

For instance, if you are reporting news, make sure to report it truthfully. Do not embellish. If you include contact information or website links, they should also be accurate. Test out the URLs before printing (for hard copies) or disseminating (for digital) your newsletter.


4. Maintain an Overall Positive Impression

Your HOA newsletter should discuss problems within the association as well as solutions, but that does not mean you can write in an overall negative tone. As a whole, your newsletter should be encouraging and constructive. This is where commendations and member news play a significant role. You should also refrain from discussing neighbor disputes.


5. Assign Important Roles

At the very least, your HOA newsletter should have an editor and a lead writer. Assigning people to these roles ensures that the responsibility of writing newsletters is always fulfilled. Although it is not necessary, board members can take part as well.


A Key Communication Tool

A regular HOA newsletter is a great way to keep community members involved, boost the morale of board members, and keep everyone educated and informed. Take some time this month to focus on the newsletter to see where you can improve it. Then, use these tips to help expand the content to make it relevant and interesting to everyone who reads it.

Communication is imperative in any homeowners association. Simplify communication in your community with the help of a comprehensive HOA management software like Condo Manager. Give us a call today at (800) 626-1267 or fill out this online form for a free demo of our product.